Workplace communication can suffer when individuals…

Recently, we have come across a number of online quizzes with a question; Workplace communication can suffer when individuals… and it stroke our curiosity!

Recently, we have come across a number of online quizzes with a question; Workplace communication can suffer when individuals… and it stroke our curiosity!

Effective workplace communication is essential for employee experience and company culture and it can positively influence employee productivity and overall performance of a business.

The online quizzes persistently provided same options: 

  1. consider cultural differences
  2. attempt to engage the audience
  3. use text lingo and emoticons

and d. tailor the message channel

Similarly, they also gave a straight forward answer: "Workplace communication can suffer when individuals use text lingo and emoticons."

In this blogpost we have decided to elaborate on this quiz question explain why lingo and emoticons are not the best way to go, expand on other examples of what you should avoid maintaining effective communication across your organization.

Workplace communication can suffer when individuals use text lingo and emoticons.

Lingo and emoticons

There is no excuse for lingo. Yes, it is great if you have this thing going with your colleague, you are on the same frequency and simply just get each other. Yet, most of the time, using lingo can lead to misunderstandings and confuse your employees. Especially the new ones. Or the ones from different culture. Your main objective as a leader should always be to maintain inclusive language for every single employee in your company. Similar thing applies on emoticons, they can be confusing. Moreover, emojis can be interpreted as unprofessional and impolite depending on the nature of the business you are working for.

On the other hand, emoticons can be a great source of motivation for your employees. We love a good use of an emoji every here and there. It is unbelievable how motivating a single unicorn reaction on “what did you work on today?” Basecamp post can be. As insignificant as it may sound, it provides you with a great sense of achievement once you finish your work and your manager rewards you with an applause, rocket or even a golden star! Plus, emojis can save a lot of time if used well. There is no need to write a whole sentence if you can just send thumbs up as an agreement with your colleague, manager or direct report.

Additional mistakes to avoid maintaining effective communication:

Mistakes to avoid maintaining effective communication

Never assume anything

It is easy to take information for granted once you have been working for a company (or on a project) for a while. You get the impression, that it is natural and obvious, and everybody knows. However, in the society with a growing number of remote, contract and part-time employees making sure everyone is on the same page and updated with the most recent information is a key to run a successful business. Plus, we all know how painful it is when you feel left out, which can have a negative impact on your company culture and motivation levels of your employees. Therefore, you should never assume everyone knows as much as you do and share the information with the rest of your team.

Under share (& Overshare)

Similarly, our previous point, if you want to make your employees feel valued and part of the organization, you need to share the information with them. Furthermore, collaboration and team work is vital for developing new ideas and innovation in your company. You will never utilize the potential of your workforce if you do not keep them in the loop of what is going on in the business, and to do so, you need to communicate the information. On the other hand, for communication to be effective you should avoid waffle and keep the message clear and to the point.

Be afraid to ask questions

We have all been there, you join a new company, miss a meeting or come back from holidays and you are lost. Sometimes it can be difficult to put together courage to ask questions for various reasons. The important thing is that it is stupid not to ask questions, you are never going to manage to achieve your objectives unless you are clear on what is expected of you. If you do not want to confront the whole team, book in a one-on-one meeting with your manager.

Wait until the last minute

In line with being afraid to ask questions it is easy to postpone confronting your manager or team until the very last minute when you desperately need more information to progress. However, if you wait until the last minute it is not going to help anyone, and you are exposing yourself to more stress than you need to. Plus, what are the chances you are going to meet your deadline if you ask about what you need to do too late?

Lack focus

Lacking focus is the other side of the coin of ineffective communication. If you do not clearly communicate the purpose and objective in your message it is likely your employees will not understand what they need to do and how to achieve company objective, they will lack focus themselves, have to ask more question and probably become less motivated and more stressed than they need to be.


We cannot decide what is worse; too many communication channels or not enough. You should always ensure your employees are clear on the use of communication channels in the company and know where to find or seek all the information they may need. You should include a private messaging platform such as Slack , project management platform for planning, task management and project tracking, issue tracking software, calendar, and internal website or platform such as Dropbox with all the branding and other resources your team might need.

It is important to bear in mind the well-known; communication is key in any relationship. In order to maintain effective communication and allow your employees to express themselves and share their opinions it is important they feel they can trust the business they are working for. Safe space and open communication culture should be an objective of every successful leader.

Dominika Cechova

Dominika Cechova

Content Team

3 minute readPublished on August 15, 2019

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